World Business News

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What’s in a Name? Changing the Name of a Company in China

Zone(s): China ¦ Sector(s): Company Names

[25 June 2014, China Briefing, Shanghai]  By Matthew Zito and Maria Kotova Confucius: The rectification of names (正名) is a central Confucian doctrine based on the idea that using the proper names of things—personal titles, ritual implements, plant species, etc.—has outward repercussions for creating harmony in one’s social relationships and the world at large. In China, the importance of finding the right name is as true for companies as for individuals, as highlighted by name approval being the first step in establishing a company in China. But what happens when the name originally selected for your business, for one reason or another, needs to be changed?

The procedure for changing the name of a company in China turns out to be quite complex, though it is far simpler, for example, than changing one’s business scope. Because a company’s name is displayed on several types of official documents (such as its business license, company chop and tax registration certificate), any changes to this information must be filed with each respective governing authority. It is crucial that companies duly prepare for each step in the process prior to filing an initial application, as deadlines at later steps are incurred by the completion of earlier ones.